Queering the May-December courtship of Harold and Maude, iconic provocateur Bruce LaBruce (L.A. Zombie) returns with this subversively tender tale of the intimate bond between a teenage nursing home attendant and an elderly resident.
A sharp, subversive take on the mainstreaming of gay culture courtesy of one of queer cinema's most upfront and provocative filmmakers, Bruce LaBruce's Gerontophilia may also be his most tender, romantic film to date.
The hero, Lake (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie), has been in a straight relationship with Désirée (2011 TIFF Rising Star Katie Boland) for a while. But lately he finds himself paying special attention to some of the older male clientele where he works (reluctantly) as a lifeguard. When one of the swimmers nearly drowns, Lake rescues him, but in a manner that's, well, a little too enthusiastic — and Lake must finally acknowledge his own desires. Luckily for him, his mother gets him hired at a seniors' home, where he meets Mr. Peabody (Walter Borden). Sparks fly — and soon Peabody and Lake are faced with some tough choices.
With Gerontophilia, LaBruce takes satiric aim at both the desire for mainstream, even conventional films within the queer community and the youth-obsessed nature of gay (and straight) culture. The tone may seem like agitprop camp — LaBruce is aided by a group of skilled actors who know how to play it perfectly — and it's certainly very funny, but there are serious questions percolating underneath.
Désirée's oft-repeated list of revolutionaries
may sometimes seem like a lefty
parlour game, but it raises important questions:
What and who sparks real change?
Part of the answer comes with the way
LaBruce approaches the material. Seldom,
if ever, have the bodies of aging men
been presented so gently or romantically.
Updating and queering Harold & Maude,
LaBruce has made sure to make it not just
about emotional attachment but about
ardour, too. Here, the real revolutionaries
aren't just those who write or talk about
revolution; they're the people who are
brave enough to follow their desires.